Monday, December 23, 2013

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A merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all from us here at DAMIJWH!

Unbeknownst to most, DAMIJWH is produced and maintained by my trusty team of assistants at Studios Lennard Grahn, pictured above wearing the company's smart new outfits with the famous black triangle logo.

- well done chaps, and keep up the good work!

See you all again January 6, 2014.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw V "Panther", Ausf G
Reportedly this photo show a Panther abandoned in the suburbs of Berlin, spring / summer 1945.
Many interesting late-production details can be seen in this photo, like a two-tone factory camouflage scheme (brown and green) applied to the turret and upper hull, and the special rectangular stowage box for housing infra-red equipment, replacing the right hand side rear end stowage box (you can tell by the open stowage box hatch)
These boxes were fitted to a number of Panthers without any of them ever receiving the actual infra-red sights and range finders. Whether infra-red equipped Panthers did or did not see action during the Battle of Berlin is still a subject of debate.
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Monday, December 16, 2013

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Still down with physical problems...but now the pain has changed from a "blowtorch" type pain directed at my lower back, to a "fractured" type pain in my right shoulder.

****
Panzer: Pzkpfw II, Ausf C
Photo most likely taken after or during the battle of France . Note the presence of two practices for applying vehicle numbers: The early method of numbered rhomboid-shaped metal plates, and the later method of painting the numbers directly onto the turret sides.
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Monday, December 09, 2013

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Sorry, not much here today because I have some acute back pains preventing me from sitting in front of a computer for longer periods, but I'll be fine in a couple of days and you do gets yer panzer, being the armoured version of the Sdkfz 8 which was pretty rare, maybe less than five made.

*****
Panzer: SdKfz 8/ DB10 Gepanzerte 12t
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Monday, December 02, 2013

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Why not diggeth the caricatures and funny drawings by John Holcroft

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw III, ausf E
Most likely taken in the early part of 1941 at an armoured detachment's barracks during an inspection of the troops, since the Panzer Gefreiter in the photo wears his regulation black tie with grey-green, grey, or brown shirt.
In the buttonhole of his panzer wrapper we find the ribbon of the Kriegsverdienstkreuz, II klasse  , awarded for actions that did not merit an Iron Cross. Usually this was because the recipient had not carried out an act of personal bravery in the face of the enemy, but had performed beyond the requirements of his duty. Of special interest is the decoration on his chest, the SA Sportsabzeichen/ Wehrabzeichen. Originally awarded by the Nazi party to members of the SA who had gone through a series of demanding physical tests. It was later awarded to, and permitted to be worn by,  personnel of the Wehrmacht who had successfully completed the same tests. With this in mind, we could very well be looking at the unit's drill sergeant, responsible for the physical education of new recruits.
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Monday, November 25, 2013

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Taken in 1947 by a British visitor, an amateur photo of the Reichstag in Berlin.

Still scarred by fire, bombing, and the desperate fighting in the last days of Hitler's reign over the German capital, the photo also shows us the not so commonly seen backside of the building.

In the background you can make out the ruins of central Berlin, still waiting to be rebuilt two years after the war ended.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw I ohne aufbau
The special version of the Panzer I without turret and upper hull, used for training new crews.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

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An Amazing collection of glass negatives taken ca. 1890-1910 by telegraph operator and amateur photographer William Facey (b. 1864). The Facey Collection

What sets Facey's photos apart from the, predominantly professional, photographic work of his era, is a keen eye for composition combined with a unique sense of presence and intimacy, making his depictions of daily life in and around Duxbury, MA (USA) appear as if they had been captured by the camera only yesterday.

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 139, Panzerjäger Marder III
Some engine maintenance for this Marder. First of the Marder III series (followed by the Ausf H and M) this was a mating of the  Pak 76 (r) AT gun, captured in large amounts from the Soviets in 1941, with the Pzkpfw 38 (t) chassis , captured from the Czechs in 1938.
The result was a fully tracked and self-propelled tank killer capable of taking out T-34's while the Wehrmacht waited for more thoroughly designed concepts to arrive at the front.
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Monday, November 11, 2013

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Ahh...I feel good here...she smells so much nicer than Walter Matthau...

Yes, it's NO SECRET that we here at DAMIJWH have an affection for French actress Catherine Deneuve, the star of such cinema classics as Bunuel's Belle d' Jour, Polanski's  Repulsion, and many others, but why not diggeth these posters from some of her more obscure exploits on the silver screen (hey, great stars have to make a living too ya know)

*****
Panzer: Brückenleger auf Fgst Panzer I Ausf. B
Rare tracks this week, a bridge-laying Pzkpfw I, Ausf B. Usually two such vehicles were used to form a bridge, as seen here
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Monday, November 04, 2013

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Great collection of photographs of WWII Bomber Jackets on Flickr

*****
Panzer: Panzer Befehlswagen III
With some relaxing crews, probably prior to the invasion of Soviet Russia, summer 1941.
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Monday, October 28, 2013

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Reed in 1974.

Lou Reed, 1942-2013

Rock'n roll giant, style icon, poet, composer, and pretty much the definition of a New York artist in my book.

You provided the soundtrack for my youth, Lou Reed.

Thanks for everything.

*****
Panzer: 8.8cm PaK43/1 (L/71) auf Geschutzwagen III und IV (Sf) "Nashorn"
A rare colour photo showing the three-colour camouflage scheme (the photo has a strong greenish tint, distorting the brown and dark yellow colours a great deal)
The Nashorn was based on a unusual combination of Panzer III and Panzer IV components developed in early 1942 by the Alkett company, in order to quickly deliver a fully tracked carriage for the powerful long version of the 88 mm gun, desperately needed on the Eastern front.
Of note is also the great variety in the colour of the feldgrau uniforms displayed.
One explanation could be that most of the men in the photo are officers, who had to purchase their tunics privately from authorized tailors. This gave them a wider range of freedom regarding colour and quality of the material used as compared to the lowly Landser private, who had to make do with what he was issued from the depot.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

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Yes, he's been featured here before... but we middle-aged people like to repeat ourselves, so let's have another look at the delightfully distorted visions of German surrealist Hans Bellmer (1902-75)

And if you think Bellmer was just a dirty old man making pornography and passing it off to rich collectors as art, you are probably (partially) right, but he did have some interesting things to say about it :

"What is at stake here is a totally new unity of form, meaning and feeling: language-images that cannot simply be thought up or written up … They constitute new, multifaceted objects, resembling polyplanes made of mirrors … As if the illogical was relaxation, as if laughter was permitted while thinking, as if error was a way and chance, a proof of eternity.”

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, ausf G
A fine example of a battle hardened late-war StuG and its commander in this photo, displaying practically all of the special modifications introduced both in the field and at the factories : Concrete has been applied to the upper hull as extra protection (making the StuG appear rounder in this area) the standard detachable Schürtzen armour plates have been replaced with a cut down version welded onto the hull and mudguards (less prone to getting stuck in trees and other obstacles) what is missing from this StuG is a Topfblende cast mantlet fitted around the gun mount, the rounded sides of the design was better at reflecting shots from enemy AT guns, but this particular vehicle retains the old style welded box-shaped mantlet (both were being fitted at factories up until the end ofWWII, depending on what was delivered from the various sub contractors). Finally, a set of tracks scavenged from a Soviet T-34 has been placed as extra protection on the bow armour. And our veteran Oberfeldwebel standing in front of the vehicle was no rookie fresh from armour school, as he can display both the Panzer Assault Badge, Iron Cross 1'st class, silver wound badge plus no less than nine kill rings on the gun barrel of his StuG. Note the wooden stowage boxes and other clutter on the engine deck behind the fighting compartment, typical of many StugG's, and possible because they didn't have a revolving turret requiring the areas behind and around it to be free of obstacles.
Considering some 11.500 StuG's were produced before the end of WWII,  it was men and equipment like this that handled a very large portion of the day-to-day fighting against the waves of enemy armour attacking German forces from both the East and the West.
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Monday, October 14, 2013

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VHS-video screen grabs,  selected with such conscience and taste to become modern art?..  checkum' out at the crafty and fabulous: eggsackley.tumblr.com

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 252
A couple of the  Leichte Gepanzerte Munitionskraftwagen, doing what they're supposed to do. Supporting Stug III's by ferrying ammunition from a rear area depot and up to the frontlines.
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Monday, October 07, 2013

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Many historians agree that the main reason for Hitler's rise to power was not so much his politics but his oratorical talents, the impact of his speeches.

In 1936, when the above private photo was taken, Hitler had already been chancellor (and de facto dictator...) of Germany for three years  but apparently there was still some need to present the Nazi state as some sort of parliamentary democracy and thus The German election and referendum, 1936  was held, compelling Germans to vote yes or no to a parliament consisting only of members of the Nazi party...

Naturally, the turnout was phenomenal (99 %) and  the Nazi party won 98,9% of the votes...

Well, running a dictatorship like a democracy has it benefits...but let's get back to the photo.

What I find interesting is not the children standing to attention as if the savior of Germany himself is about to inspect the cleanliness of their fingernails, or the well designed and ready-made banner proclaiming: "The Führer held his word", but the object placed on top of the stone wall, above the smaller banner saying "Every vote for the Führer",  it is - a radio...

Obviously we are looking at an election meeting arranged by the Nazi party, but what is intriguing is that it is highly likely that the main attraction at this meeting was not a local representative from the Nazi party appearing in person and giving a speak, but the much more powerful radio broadcast of Hitler speaking.

Ach, the power of the media.

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 250/9
Three members of a recon unit pose for a photo, probably late 1943 or early 1944.
Note the subtle individualism expressed by the crewmen, wearing three different types of head wear and still managing to stay within Wehrmacht regulations. The "F" marking on the bow armour is not related to the 10'th SS Panzerdivision Frundsberg, since all three men are wearing Army uniforms. Also note the couple of Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons resting on the front end of the 250/9, very handy if this lightly armed recon vehicle ran into some enemy heavy-weights. The Panzerfaust did not fire a rocket as is sometimes claimed, it was in fact a small scale recoil less gun, using a standard propellant for its projectile, but in the case of the Panzerfaust it had a hollow charge mounted at the end,  enabling it to better penetrate armor plates.
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Monday, September 30, 2013

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"- I'll never pee in the holy water again - PROMISE!!"

Behold the madness that was: Mexican Pulp Covers

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, ausf C
A damaged Stug awaiting repairs, probably photographed late 1941 or early 1942 in Russia.
The vehicle marked "Pz4" in the background looks like a Panhard 178 armoured car, a number of which were captured from the French army in 1940 and used by the Wehrmacht as Panzerspähwagen P204 (f). Note the high number of "kill"marks painted on the Stug and the small silhouette painted above them which looks like a bunker. Taking out enemy fortifications was a job for the Stug as an infantry close support vehicle.
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Monday, September 23, 2013

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Keeping it real here at DAMIJWH with some MORE Japanese box art!

The above piece happens to be my all time favourite...made in the 1970s by Yoshiyuki Takani for Tamiya's 1/35 scale R/C Jagdpanther.



Curiously, the artwork differed slightly depending on what version of the kit you had in the box.

The full R/C version (with two electric motors included) would get you the art with soldiers standing on the back end of the JP and a motorcycle w. sidecar in the foreground, but If you opted for the R/C version with just ONE electric motor, your box art was without the soldiers and the motorcycle.

More here
(you have to join the forum to see the pics, but it's free)

*****
Panzer: Befehlspanther, Ausf A
A unit commander's version of the Panther, with the extra "star" antenna mounted on the engine deck behind the turret, enabling direct radio contact with Divisional or Corps HQ.
Note that the cylindrical box containing cleaning rods for the main gun has been moved from its standard position on the left-hand side of the upper hull and instead placed along the rear end of the engine deck. This was a field modification done by some Panther-equipped units to prevent the container from being damaged (smashed flat...) during the fighting.
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Monday, September 16, 2013

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If Japanese box art is to your taste, read about one of the great masters Shigeo KOIKE
Fans of Hasegawa aircraft kits will be familiar with his work.


Shigeo Koike in his studio.

Realising how small his paintings actually are make them even more remarkable I think...

*****
Panzer: Pzkfw IV, Ausf H
A typical mid-war (summer of 1943 is my guess) Panzer IV, complete with zimmerit anti-magnetic coating and schürtzen armour.Some of the panzermen assembled are wearing the green denim fatigue uniform over their black panzer uniform, suggesting the panzer was undergoing maintenance work or being prepared for an upcoming assault.
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Monday, September 09, 2013

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No.
I have nothing to say this week...

Except maybe this: a well-dressed pipe-smoking man can always find a place in the world.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw III, Ausf N
A couple of panzer III's moving along, probably on the North-Eastern front, fall 1943. Despite being replaced by the Panzer IV and Panther as the main battle tank of the Wehrmacht, Panzer III's served on, usually on the less busy sectors of the front where it could still stand up well against partisan units and enemy infantry that lacked armoured support.
On close examination it is visible that the foremost Panzer III lacks the MG 34's normally fitted next to the main gun and in the ball mount in the frontal armour, suggesting this vehicle operated well behind the front lines, perhaps with a training detachment.
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Monday, September 02, 2013

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WHAT!! no posting at DAMIJWH!!!

Have had a very busy week... but : you gets your Panzer!

*****
Panzer: Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf B "Jagdtiger"
The gutted hulk of a Jagdtiger lies somewhere in western Germany, spring/ summer 1945.
This particular Jagdtiger was photographed exstensively by passing GI's who wanted a souvenir photo to bring home, revealing that the entire roof of the fighting compartment is missing and the vehicle was probably blown up by the crew just before they surrendered.
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Monday, August 26, 2013

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Oh, that bewitching Japanese box art...

And there I was:  nine or ten years old, pocket money in hand... my weekly allowance just enough to buy me only ONE of these amazing creations from beautiful Fujimi plastic model company...(costing 10 Danish kroners , ca. £ 1 back in ye mid-seventies),  but there were SO MANY that I wanted...

Well...I had to make a choice...and went for the gasmask-wearing SS troopers, machine guns and flamethrowers blasting against a blood red sky...

And the model inside the box? yeah, it was alright,...but the real treat were those paintings...that use of typography, the overall design, the shiny surface of the cardboard box.

Ach....so young, and already so lost. 

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 251/10
A group of Wehrmacht troops hitching a ride, probably in Normandy summer 1944 where Allied air-superiority demanded the use of heavy foliage on German vehicles if they were to move by daylight, and survive!
On close observation it is revealed that this 251/10 is a bit out of the ordinary...having had its original Pak 36 gun removed and replaced by the rare Schwere Panzerbüchse 41, a light anti-tank weapon using the radical Gerlich principle where the gun has a tapered barrel and fires a tungsten core projectile.
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Monday, August 19, 2013

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Danish artist Halfdan Pisket punches you hard with his raw and edgy, yet eloquent style

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw Tiger I, Ausf E
A Tiger in the woods. Close scrutiny of this photo will reveal the "charging knight" unit marking of Schweres Panzer Abteilung 505 (painted on the side of the turret just before the gun mount) plus the unit's unusual practise of painting vehicle numbers on the gun barrel.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

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Montmartre, Paris ca. 1900

Toulouse-Lautrec was my first great love when it comes to art, his wonderful clear line drawing style combined with the expressive use of colour made a big impression on me.

And those faces in his paintings...brightly lit in garish colours against a backdrop of putrescent purples and bubonic browns, fluttering like cancerous butterflies performing a dance of darkness in the City of Light, painted by this great master of modernism as if you were there, not just a spectator , but part of what was happening.

Too bad I was born one hundred years too late...but fortunately for me (and others), we have photography! , enabling armchair art lovers to sit at a safe distance from the world of Toulouse-Lautrec (which of course was also the world of syphilis, tuberculosis, crime, death, corruption and hunger), and checketh out this photo page (in Spanish), displaying a multitude of images of Toulouse-Lautrec and his times in late nineteenth century Paris.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw II, Ausf C
A nicely detailed closeup.
The open-centered cross painted on the side of the hull, combined with the crewman wearing the panzer beret, could suggest the photo was taken in spring 1940, prior to the invasions of France and the Low countries.
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Monday, August 05, 2013

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Backeth are we!
- and what better way to start up the new season here at DAMIJWH than presenting a bewitching collection of photos from New York City, made available online by the NYC Department of Records




Of special note are a series of photos taken in the 1980s by the Department of Finance.
These photos were taken for purely practical reasons, related to the taxation of property, but you really get that "Taxi Driver" feel of the seedy urban decay found in some parts of New York during that era.

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz IV, Ausf G
StuG IV's under production at the Krupp Grusonwerk. Far less common than its little brother, the StuG III, the Stug IV was proposed by the Krupp firm (which didn't manufacture the Panzer III chassis' used for the StuG III) and approved wit hgreat enthusiasm by Hitler. The turret less StuG's were quicker and cheaper to produce than standard panzers like the Pz IV, Panther and Tiger, making them very attractive to Germany's arms industries in the second half of WWII, strained by allied bombings, shortage of raw materials and the ever increasing demands from the front lines.
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Friday, June 28, 2013

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I am a collector. I carry a little machine with me. And walk the Earth. I have been programmed by my culture (a very visual culture) to recognise certain combinations of colour, light and form to be interesting, noteworthy. It is all done by my human brain... a cow or a monkey would not see the world like that. When I come across these combinations, I record them with my little machine, it's called a "camera",  and later when I come home, I sit at my desk and look at the recordings. A bit like a collector of butterflies, or flowers would. I feel a certain pleasure. A pleasure of having caught these butterflies. They are now mine.

Have a nice summer, and when we meet again; it will be the future.

*****
Panzer: Bergepanzer III, ausf J
Some 150 obsolete Panzer III's were converted in March-December 1944 to serve with armoured units as recovery vehicles. Photo possibly taken during the Battle of the Bulge.
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Monday, June 24, 2013

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If WWII photos from the vast collection in the US National Archives are to your interest, checketh ye out Fox Company Research, a private contractor offering a fine selection for online viewing and purchase.

*****
Panzer: Flammpanzer II (F) Flamingo
Ninety vehicles produced 1940-41. This flamethrower equipped tank (the small turrets with nozzles expouting flame are visible above the front end mudguards) was based on the Pzkpw II, Ausf F and saw service during Operation Barbarossa after which the remaining vehicles were returned to Germany and converted to Marder tank destroyers.
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Monday, June 17, 2013

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If the early art of Raymond Pettibon is to your taste, you're in for a treat with this collection of : pretty-much-every-single-black-flag-flyer-designed-by-raymond-pettibon

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw Tiger, Ausf E
A battered Tiger aboard a railroad flatcar, probable heading for a repair facility and major overhaul. Note the support for the commanders hatch poking out of the dustbin cupola, indicating that the hatch is missing, perhaps blown out by an internal explosion.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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R.I.P Arturo Vega, 1947-2013

A belated goodbye to "the fifth Ramone" (he died June 8'th) Arturo Vega designed the famous Ramones logo which has since grown into a pop culture icon rivaling the popularity of Che Guevara' s image.

Mr. Vega not only created logos, backdrops and T-shirts for the band (reportedly the sale of the Vega designed T-shirts represented a bigger income for The Ramones than the sale of records...) he also designed the lights used when the band performed on stage.

I had the pleasure of witnessing that part of Mr. Vega's talents back in the late 1980's, when the Ramones played in Copenhagen's Pumpehuset . During their performance of "Surfin' bird" (a cover of the surf-rock classic by the Trashmen) there is a break in the song where the band stops playing and you only hear Joey Ramone saying "a-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.." into the microphone, the sound of his voice shifting from the left side to the right side stack of amplifiers (and what a mighty stack that was..), additionally the lights have been turned off, we the humble audience are standing in complete darkness... eventually the Ramones slam back into the song, perfectly timed with the lights returning, aimed at an obscured angle, blasting a tri-fork of light down on the stage, the lights' colours representing those of the American flag:  RED-WHITE-BLUE...Dee-Dee and Johnny Ramone now standing on top of the amplifiers in their signature laid back poses,  guitar and bass resting potently between knee and thigh height, the song playing at maximum volume.

A rock-n-roll moment.

Thanks, Arturo Vega.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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****  HAPPY 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! ****


Yes, TEN YEARS of blogging here at DAMIJWH! since that very first posting back in 2003, an embittered assault on a Danish Buddhist  - when was I ever nice?...

Well, there have been many phunn moments like that... and I originally started out sharing a blog with my two friends Jens Christoffersen and Hans Larsen, but decided to go solo with DAMIJWH, because mankind needed a really cool and great guy doing a blog.

I suppose blogging has largely been replaced by the many other social medias available today, but I still like the idea of dropping links to places I find interesting on the WWW, with a few lines of text thrown in, and yes: I know fans are eager to know: is he ever going to stop?.. and the answer is of course NO! even on my death bed I will be blogging! so there you have it.

OK, enough of this...see you next Monday and don't forget to also check out my other blog (about comic books) : Plopish!

And by the way: no matter WHAT happens here at the blog, I can guarantee you that there will always be:

Panzers!

Panzer: Panzerbefehlswagen III, Ausf D
Perfect for commemorating our anniversary here at DAMIJWH is this unusually spruce and clean looking Pz Bef Wg III, photographed at a parade just before the outbreak of WWII. Of special note is the parade quality belt and buckle, marksman's lanyard and medal worn by the commander. The medal could very well be The Anschluss Medal, awarded in 1938 to Wehrmacht personnel who took part in the Austrian Anschluss .
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Monday, June 10, 2013

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If Copenhagen, and bicycles are your thang, visit ye frequently at www.copenhagenize.com,  a great site providing insightful updates on the latest developments in Copenhagen in relation to man's (and woman's) best friend: the bicycle...

*****
Panzer: Panzerjäger Tiger, Ausf B Jagdtiger
A fine closeup shot of the mighty Jagdtiger. Of special note is the fahrgestell (chassis) number painted on the front armour plate and the narrow (66 cm) transportation tracks, fitted when Jagdtigers were moved by rail since the wider "combat" tracks (80 cm) made the vehicle too wide for railway flatcars. Unusual for a Jagdtiger is the application of Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating on the lover parts of the hull. The practise of applying Zimmerit was discontinued from September 1944 when Jagdtigers had already entered full scale production, so maybe this is an early prototype rushed into front line service in the last weeks of WWII.
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Monday, June 03, 2013

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Delight in the world of East German cinema

I remember seeing some of these films on Danish TV back in the seventies, like the WWII war movie Ich war neunzehn

*****
Panzer: Panzerjäger Tiger (p) Elefant
A nice top view of this heavy weight tank hunter, probably photographed on the Italian front ca. 1944.
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Monday, May 27, 2013

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The swastika was the national symbol of The Third Reich and
often used for decoration. Here during a celebration at an electricity
plant.


Why not investigate the world of private German WWII photos at www.militaria-archive.com

*****
Panzer: Munitionspanzer I
A number of Panzer I's had their turrets replaced with a simple hatch to be used for carrying munitions during the Battle of France. Panzer I's were used since they proved to be too lightly armed and armoured when facing French tanks like the Char B1 and Somua S35.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

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The nuclear plant of the future by Eberhard Binder-Staßfurt

Get your retro visions of the future made by German artists from both West and East  at www.retro-futurismus.de

*****
Panzer: Panzeratrappe
A couple of dummy panzers constructed from wood or aluminium around a standard motor car. These were used for basic training of panzer crews throughout WWII. Note that the troopers are wearing standard Army field grey sidecaps and reed green drill uniforms. The trademark black panzer uniform was saved from wear during the more messy parts of the training, or perhaps these men are simply the maintenance crew of a tank training facility.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

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Path 6, 2011

Flappergast as you are sucked deeply into the nordic mysticism of...no forget that crap...
- cool photos by Finnish artist:  Eeva Karhu

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw V, Ausf A Panther
A candid amateur photo showing a group of damaged Panthers, probably on their way back to Germany for major overhaul at a factory. Taking photos like that would have been very risky during wartime, but perhaps the photographer was a trusted employee of the Wehrmacht.
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

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May 9, Victory Day.

Amateur photo of a Red Army prisoner, taken by a German soldier in 1941-42.

German soldiers liked to take photos of non-white people they encountered during WWII:  gypsies, Jews, Africans serving with the French army, the black soldiers of the US Army.

The "Mongolians" coming from Soviet Russia's most eastern territories were no exception, and given the anxious expression on this man's face you can't help wondering if he died from mistreatment, starvation or disease a few months later, like 2 million other soviet POW's in German custody.

Or was he photographed because he had offered to serve as a "Hiwi" (Hilfs Williger)  doing odd jobs for the German Wehrmacht? It would keep him out of the POW camp, but have him branded a collaborator when the tides of war changed, most likely earning him a turn in the Soviet prison camp system instead, or death by firing squad.

Who knows. History is written by those who survive, and are lucky enough to be the winners.

Happy Victory Day.

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, ausf G
A group of StuG's in wintry conditions, most likely on the Eastern front. Note the telescope poking up through the commanders hatch. At first sight it might look as if the StuG's are supporting advancing infantry, but it's probably the other way round.A StuG was a lot more valuable to the Wehrmacht than a lowly Grenadier, and the troopers are there to protect the Stug's from Soviet infantry who would try to lop grenades down the open hatch or throw fire bombs (Molotov cocktails) into the engine ventilation ducts.
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Monday, May 06, 2013

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David Vicente, he's a frenchie... and he draws Le stuff cool!

*****
Panzer: Panzerbefehlswagen III, Ausf E
A spot of trouble for this Pz.Bf.Wg and a Sonderanhanger 116 tank transporter, providing us with a nice view of the upper surfaces and the panzer's large "bedstead" radio aerial. A divisional marking painted in yellow is visible next to the turret number "31" It could be that of the 5th Panzer Division which used an "X" marking.
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Monday, April 29, 2013

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An image junkie you, yeees?..no luck with any of the rehab programs, yeees?..been hanging around the big online image libraries again, yeees?...

Well, why doncha just face the fact that you can't be cured... and then quickly dasheth ye over to Tumblr.com, roll up your sleeves and make yourself comfortable at places like achromatic-a

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 253
Serving with a mobile artillery unit, the tactical sign visible on the front armour plate, together with what looks like the divisional marking of the  8 Panzer Division
Sdkfz 253's  provided armoured cover and cross country mobility for artillery observers who needed to register the impact of artillery fire on enemy positions and then report the results back to Wehrmacht battery commanders. Belonging to the Sdkfz 250 family, it differed from the standard version by having a fully enclosed fighting compartment. The rationalisation of German armoured production in the second half of WWII led to the discontinuation of highly specialized vehicles like these, their tasks being taken over by simpler designs based on the Sdkfz 250 or 251.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

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Fun that is, by illustrator and artiste Jonathan Speer

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw IV, Ausf H
Life in the Panzerwaffe wasn't all about spit-and-polish or risking your life, sometimes you had to carry some nice heavy 75 mm shells. For some reason these Waffen-SS crewmen wear black panzer side caps (with SS skull insignia) but regular Feldbluse field grey tunics, instead of the Waffen-SS version of the black panzer uniform (which was slightly different from the German Army version)
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Monday, April 15, 2013

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I remember that lady well. During the Falklands war, Danish television broadcasted one of her speeches and there was some kind of technical problem, making the sound play backwards. Playing sound backwards has been used for effect in popular music and sound art, because it makes the human voice sound strange and frightening. Like the voice of a  demon.


*****
Panzer: Personenkraftwagen (Pkw)
The Wehrmacht made extensive use of civilian vehicles during WWII, a practise boosted by the fact that they had access to both the German, Austrian, Czech, French and Soviet automobile industries and thus could supply themselves with what they needed. Often, a coat of camouflage paint and a new license plate was enough to transform a privately owned vehicle into the property of The Reich, but sometimes extensive work was done to bring the car, truck, or lorry in question up to Wehrmacht standards. The car in the photo has been fitted with both a regulation Notek blackout light, Deutsches Reichsbahn loading label (painted on the door) and of course: an MG 34 machine gun, making it useful for mobile anti-aircraft defence. The tactical marking painted on the side door is interesting, but unfortunately I do not know what "E-Zug" and "Erk" stands for, perhaps Erprobungskommando , meaning "test unit".

Monday, April 08, 2013

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Amateur night shot of a city somewhere in America, found on Ebay. On the back is written "1938".
 This could be New York, and the park in the foreground Central Park, but I suppose any metropolis in the US would present a futuristic vision like that at the time. Interesting to discover that photographing the city at night goes back such a long way.

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 251/1, ausf A
A rare look into the fighting compartment of a Sdkfz 251, displaying the well designed interior.
The photo was most likely taken at a training facility prior to, or in the early part of WWII, with a lieutenant handing out instructions to aspiring panzergrenadiere. Note the absence of an protective armoured shield around the forward MG mount. This feature was added to later versions of the Sdkfz 251, probably to the delight of German machine gun operators.
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Monday, April 01, 2013

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Captivating Sci-Fi visions, made in 3D by the poetic Arthurblue and rendered in beautiful Vue

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 251/11 Ausf C
Very rarely seen in photos, this version of the 251 was specially made for laying out telephone wires  (note the reels attached to the front mudguards) Telegraph and telephone were still widely used means of communication between German front line units in WWII. The location is most likely Russia, summer of 1943 and by then, Ausf C's were being replaced by the newer Ausf D's but a specialist vehicle like an 251/11, which wasn't directly involved in the fighting, could often survive beyond the normal lifespan of a Sdkfz 251. Of special note is the vehicle number painted on the side: I04, meaning that this Fernsprechpanzerwagen served with the 1'st battalion staff, a common practise for highly specialised equipment.
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Monday, March 25, 2013

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How can you not fall in love with the amazing work of nineteenth century British painter John Atkinson Grimshaw, a master of moonlit scenery.

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, ausf F/8
A somewhat stern looking StuG man in front of a selection of older and newer Stug's. The Ausf F/8 behind him must be a brand new delivery since it still has the chassis production number stenciled to the front mudguard. The spare tracks fitted to the bow armour plate also retains their factory applied coat of dark yellow paint, soon to be worn off with use.Note how the Stug on the left has been protected against the elements by adding a pyramid-shaped cover made form Zeltbahn, the ingenious German Army serviceman's waterproof poncho which could be grouped together to form tents.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

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They sure like collecting strange and kitschy pop culture items over at Gonked! Glooked! Slurped! 

(don't visit this page if your eyes are sensitive to orgasmic orangevivid vermillion or burned-out-iris blue!)

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf C
A Stug crew taking a break. The dirt road, and thatched roof of the house in the background could suggest the photo was taken in Soviet Russia. The lack of "K" or "G" markings on the vehicles and no swastika flags draped over the upper surfaces would place them some time after the initial stages of Barbarossa in 1941. Summer of 1942, during the advances on the southern front is my guess.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

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Great Daniel Clowes page on Tumblr! fan made, it features a host of early and obscure work by the "Cartoon Czar of Chi-town"

*****
Panzer: Panzerjäger V "Jagdpanther"
A GI poses cheerfully in front of a late production Jagdpanther. The location is probably western Germany, spring 1945. The unusual diagonal stripes camouflage pattern was unique to Jagdpanthers and Panthers manufactured at the MNH factory
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Monday, March 04, 2013

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Why not checketh out Russian and Soviet cinema, a Tumblr page about movies, actors and filmstars you've probably never heard about, which doesn't prevent them from looking very interesting

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw VI "Tiger I", Ausf E
Some officers of the US Army relax after battling the Afrika Korps in Tunesia, 1943, and what could be better than to have your picture taken in front of knocked out Tiger, formerly of Schweres Panzer Abteilung 501.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

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Interesting photos from the Vietnam War , taken by photographers of the North Vietnamese Army and  the Viet Cong

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw V "Panther", Ausf G
A late production Panther, most likely photographed in spring or summer 1945. The Panther has been dug into the ground with a tow cable dragged over the hull, suggesting the vehicle had mechanical problems and was used as a static defence weapon. Note how the turret numbers have been painted onto the spare tracks on the turret. The tracks were originally hung from metal supports for quick removal and emergency repairs, but some crews had them welded permanently to the turret to serve as extra protection against anti tank weapons.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

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"Going our way, Mister?.." 

Yes, the blushing schoolgirl had taken a few steps up the evolutionary ladder as the nineteen twenties unfolded. These two young Americans pose confidently as fashionable Flappers outside their school (see the handwritten caption at the bottom), perhaps waiting for a couple of young men to pick them up in their motorcars so they can go and get drunk on Bourbon, dance to the hot tunes of the day playing from a portable gramophone and then jump in for a refreshing swim in an adjourning lake. Then it's off to the big city to find work in one of the booming new industries. Freedom, fun and financial independence at last.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw V Panther, Ausf A
Photographed some time after WWII in a Danish port. Left behind by German forces (most likely 233. Reserve-Panzer-Division), it was taken over by the British Army and shipped off to Old Blighty for tests and examination. Had it stayed in Denmark, I know of at least one danish boy who would gladly have travelled far to marvel at it in a museum.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

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Yes, I'll admit it. I have turned my back on the capitalist oppressor Television, and now only watches film and TV on YouTube, because like all left wing pinko bastards I have no understanding of how economics work and childishly expect everything to be free of charge.

If you are like minded, or just happen to be a fan of Blame Society Films comedian Matt Sloan (of Chad Vader fame) then checketh ye' out his latest endeavor:  Welcome To The Basement, where he watches movies in the basement of his house along with Chad Vader habitué Craig Johnson ("Weird Jimmy")
Venomous wise cracks and sassy put-downs are administered with generous abandon upon movies such as Top Gun, Saturday Night Fever and  Megaforce (this episode alone is almost worth the entire show...), and you'll find yourself wondering "why am I watching two guys watching movies in a basement  - and loving it?!" well, because it's damned funny...and because Sloan and Johnson also find time to include some intelligent conversation about film and film making, the purpose and value of art, and: exploding heads.

*****
Panzer: Sdkfz 173 Panzerjäger V "Jagdpanther"
A late model Jagdpanther photographed in the last weeks of WWII. Note the two-tone factory applied camouflage, found on some very late production Panther and Jagdpanther's. The gun mantlet seems to have been blown off and placed on the rear engine deck. The muzzlebrake is also missing from the main gun, suggesting the vehicle was rendered useless by an explosive device placed by the crew before it was abandoned. The colours used in the late war factory applied two-tone scheme are the subject of much debate since only b/w photographs have survived...they could be either brown over green or green over dark yellow. -----

Monday, February 04, 2013

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"Climb!.." it said. Inside my head. I had to climb a mountain.

So I went to the mountain, and it looked very big...in fact, it was so tall it reached all the way up to the clouds, which were completely covering the peak. I couldn't even make out how tall this mountain was! "no way I'm going to climb that, too much trouble!", I thought...but the voice inside my head kept saying "climb it! - there's a reward for you if you do! it's up there, at the top.."
So I got started. Started at the bottom, there was a nice gravel road there, not to steep, going around the mountain. I could take my time, have a few stops along the way as I steadily made it to the top - this was going to be easy! I kept going. At first there were trees all around, giving me shade from the sun, and at night I could sleep underneath them on a soft bed of moss and leaves.Good!
Then after a while, the trees began to disappear...I was so high up they couldn't grow there. But up here, there was a fantastic view. I could see for miles, see a beautiful valley, and other mountains, their tips covered in white snow. I moved on, in high spirits - up here the sun was shining. Shining too much I found out...burning my skin, almost blinding my eyes. And no shade from trees...only small dry plants grew here. I wanted to call it quits...go back to my nice comfortable hotel room down in the valley. But, wait - I had checked out of that Hotel...and spent all of my remaining money on mountaineering boots, and a warm jacket, and besides: I was so high up on the mountain that going back would probably take more time than reaching the top. I had to go on. Keep climbing. There was snow everywhere, covering the road, making walking very difficult, and with more snow coming down. I looked up to see how far there was to the peak, but I couldn't see it...it was all covered in fog and dark grey clouds, with more and more snow coming out of them, falling down on me. I camped for the night under a rock. It was freezing there. I couldn't sleep for more than a few minutes before I woke up again, shivering. Morning came. Again, more snow. I kept going. The road had disappeared. I had to climb on the actual bedrock of the mountain. I cut my hands, legs, fell and hurt my elbow pretty badly. No doctors up here, but the cold numbed out the pain. I kept going. Kept going. Found another shelter for the night. All around me I saw nothing but fog, clouds, whirling snowflakes, I had no food left, no idea of how far I still had to go. I thought: "this is hell..."
I got up the next day. Nothing mattered except to keep going. I had to focus on the reward...somehow I knew it had to be up there. At the peak. Keep going. Can't go back.
Then I reached it - the peak! Suddenly the mountain had just stopped. I was there, at the top!
Snow was still falling. There was an extremely strong wind, I couldn't stay here for long...
But there was nothing up here!..the peak was flat, about the size of a dining table with some rocks on top of it. And some snow. Where was my reward!
I had been fooled...by the voice inside my head, by my own stupid ideas. All of this for nothing.
Then I looked at my legs. They had grown strong and muscular from the climbing. I felt my arms, also strong and muscular...and I thought about all the dangers I had faced...how I had to come up with solutions to problems I could never have imagined...how I had to find the courage and skill to jump from rock to rock, how I had force myself to keep going when I had lost sight of my objective, how I had to shut out the physical pain from cuts and bruises, ignore the scream from my empty stomach.
And then, of course, I realised.

That was the reward.

(And now I had to find a way to get off of that god damned mountain!..)

*****
Panzer: Munitionspanzer auf Fahrgestell Panzer I Ausführung A
About fifty of these turretless Panzer I's were converted from standard production vehicles to be used for supplying ammunition to fast moving units during the heydays of the Blitzkrieg.The wearing of the Panzer beret and the open centered balkenkreuz painted on the panzers would suggest they served during the invasion of the Low Countries or the Battle of France
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Monday, January 28, 2013

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Why not relax (or chillout" as we said back in the day) with some breezy 00's style ambient by Tycho

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw IV, Ausf E
Some quick winter camo for this Panzer IV, probably late 1941 in Russia. The Ausf E had additional armour bolted onto the front and the sides of the hull. -----

Monday, January 21, 2013

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Got everything?...

Another ebay purchase of mine, showing a german woman during WWII displaying "Air raid Shelter Chic"
The woman wears pants, for extra warmth in the concrete shelter and a scarf to protect her hair against concrete dust, fire and other disasters and of course Die Volksgasmaske, the standard gas mask distributed to German civilians during WWII. A small suitcase, probably with some extra underwear in case of evacuation plus her most important and valuable personal belongings, if her house was destroyed in the bombing. Over her arm, a blanket, if the air raid lasted through the night and she had to sleep in the shelter. And last but not least - her beloved dog, giving her some company while her husband or fiancee is far away at the front.

I suppose that one day the sufferings of German and Japanese civilians during the terror bombings of WWII will also be granted status as war crimes (yes I know they started it...), but until then all we have are photos like this giving some interesting insight into what is important to a person facing the fact that her home might be gone when she returns.

*****
Panzer: Pzkpfw III, Ausf J
Three German paratoopers relaxing in front of a Panzer III, camouflaged for winter use with whitewash. The location looks like the Eastern front where paratroop units served mainly as regular ground troops.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

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Both parents Jewish,  Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske) was a Yid!

You've been there...there's NO shame, it's only natural...a person's name comes up in conversation...then someone reveals the secret, triggering your unmitigated response:
  
whaa...JEWISH?!

face the truth at : www.jewornojew.com

*****
Panzer: Sturmgeschütz III, Ausf G
A group of stugs giving some infanterie a much appreciated ride. The smoothly shaped covering around the gun mount, known as the topfblende  was introduced in february 1944, which would place  this foto in the summer of 1944 (note the haystacks in the background)
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Monday, January 07, 2013

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Backeth are we, and with a brand new year just begun!

mesmerizing!

tantalizing!

enchanting,

challenging.

yes,

"twelve months of new year coming right up, sir!"

 Yes.

No denying that.

*****
Panzer: Panzerjäger Tiger, Ausf. B. "Jagdtiger"
The largest combat vehicle to be used operationally in WWII, the behemoth rests quietly at a railway loading ramp probably in early 1945.
A very rare photo showing one of only eleven Jagdtigers fitted with the simplified suspension and wheels known as "Porsche suspension". When comparing photos, this could very well be the same vehicle residing today at the Bovington Tank Museum in Britain.
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